With one hand the lord giveth, and with the other he taketh away. Just a few days after learning that crowd favourite Dane Reynolds will be competing in the forthcoming Fiji Pro, we learn that crowd favourite John John Florence, alas, almost certainly will not.
After the Rio Pro, John John headed south on a filming trip for his forthcoming movie, accompanied by fellow limber-limbed freak Filipe Toledo. No doubt the standard of surfing getting done was ridiculously good, each pushing the other to new heights, literally as well as figuratively. It’s a tantalising thought, and the knowledge that the filming mission was cut short is almost as saddening as the knowledge of John John’s absence in Fiji.
On this occasion Florence’s limbs weren’t quite limber enough, as he landed badly going for an alley-oop and sprained his ankle, leaving him out of action for a probable four to six weeks. Returning in time for J-Bay is now his target; he hasn’t officially withdrawn from the Fiji Pro just yet, but the chances of his recovering in time are minimal. Toledo, somehow, has never injured himself surfing — a remarkable record given the way he flings himself about.
There was (for once) an interesting exchange on the Morning Show, as Martin Potter criticised John John — along with other world tour surfers who’ve missed events due to injuries sustained free surfing — for pushing himself too far outside of competition. He sounded like a bit of a helmet. Strider countered with a spirited defence. Good old Strider.